Recent heated discussion with the father-in-law comes to mind when reading this article. In that restrained conversation he said something to the effect of, “A bullet only costs 50 cents,” and “Why do we need an extended appeals process? Why are we spending so much money when they’ve already been convicted?” To which I responded that people of color are disproportionately affected by capital punishment laws compared to whites, and he responded with, “I don’t care if you’re black or white, if you killed someone you deserve to die too.” … I don’t think I got too far with him.
Maura Dolan writes in the LA Times:
Whatever the outcome, the debate over Proposition 34 has shown that forces once solidly behind capital punishment are now splintered, in part because of the system’s costs and the relatively few executions.
Heller said he began speaking out against capital punishmentafter coming to believe that California had executed a “factually innocent” inmate. Even before that 1998 execution, Heller was having doubts, he said. He had become a defense lawyer and saw attorneys he considered “marginal” assigned to represent capital defendants.
Woodford’s Roman Catholic upbringing had long made her leery of capital punishment, but she said she did not become passionate about the issue until after she saw executions up close. On execution nights, she met with family members of condemned inmates’ victims.
“When you meet prior to the execution, they are looking at you with such hope, that this is somehow going to make them feel better,” she said. “And then afterward, looking in their faces, it seems like it clearly didn’t give them what they were looking for. What is closure? I don’t think it is watching an individual get a needle in his arm and go to sleep.”